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How to cook the perfect steak - the ultimate guide

Is the best way to cook steak rare, medium or well-done? What’s the most tender cut? We’ve gathered all the information and tips you need to cook the perfect steak, so you can whip up a restaurant-quality dish and make your evening special without extra stress. Whether you’re a ribeye lover or fancy a fillet steak, read on to discover our ultimate guide on how to cook steak…

  1. Picking your steak cut

    When buying a steak, you should pay attention to the cut and the quality of the beef. All Tesco Finest Steaks are prime cuts selected and prepared by expert butchers. They’re 100% British beef from trusted British farms and farmers and are all 30-day matured, so you can be sure that every steak will offer juicy, rich flavour and tender, succulent texture.

    Pay attention to a steak’s fat marbling to get an idea of the tenderness and cooking time of the meat. Highly marbled steaks will need a little longer in the pan, while lean steaks, such as fillet, need less time to cook.

    Picking your steak cut
  2. Before you start cooking

    Before you start cooking, remember to take the steak out of the fridge and allow it to come up to room temperature. If you cook a steak that’s too cold you risk the meat cooking unevenly or lengthening the steak cooking time, which can make it a bit tough.

    Use a heavy griddle pan and don’t overcrowd the meat – you should always cook steaks one or two at a time to ensure the pan retains its hot temperature throughout. 

    After cooking, always remember to let a steak rest as this allows the meat to relax, ensuring tenderness. Remove the steak from the pan, cover in foil and leave until ready to serve.

    See our guide below on how to cook different types of steaks.

    Before you start cooking
  3. How to cook rump steak

    This affordable cut of steak is cut from the backside of a cow. It’s a hard-working piece of meat with very little fat, so it can be cooked quickly and is best served rare to medium-rare. Tesco Finest British Rump Steak is matured for 30 days, which adds complexity to the flavour and ensures extra tenderness. 

    Wondering how to cook rump steak to perfection? For best results, heat a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat for 2-3 minutes until smoking. Rub a little oil over the Tesco Finest Rump Steak and season with salt. Then place the steak in the dry pan and cook for 1 minute each side. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for a further 2 minutes each side. Remove from the heat and leave to rest, wrapped in foil, for 3 minutes.

    For something a little different, try serving your perfectly cooked steak with a sticky mango sauce and charred broccoli.

    How to cook rump steak
  4. How to cook fillet steak

    Fillets are a butcher’s favourite and the most tender steak. They’re cut from the lower middle back of a cow, so the meat is lean with little marbling, which means it benefits from a shorter cooking time and is best served rare. Thanks to the limited fat, it has a subtle flavour and butter-soft texture. Find out how to cook fillet steak below.

    To fry a Tesco British Fillet Steak, simply rub with a flavourless fat, such as vegetable or groundnut oil, and lightly season. Heat a griddle pan until smoking, then add the fillet steak and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side. Before the end of the cooking time, add a knob of butter to the pan and spoon the melted fat over the steak for extra juiciness.

    To turn fillet steak into a luxurious lunch, try this warm Italian beef salad recipe with rocket, Parmesan and a balsamic dressing. Serve with potatoes to make a heartier meal for dinner.

    How to cook fillet steak
  5. How to cook ribeye steak

    Ribeye is a popular and tender cut with a rich flavour that comes from the marbled fat running through it. It’s best cooked medium-rare or medium so the fat can fully render and melt for maximum juiciness. Here's our tips on how to cook ribeye steak.

    We recommend cooking a Tesco Finest British Ribeye Steak for 3-4 mins each side for medium-rare or 4-5 mins for medium. As before, rub the steak with oil and salt before cooking and make sure to rest for a minimum of 5 mins once out of the pan. 

    With its complex depth of flavour, rib-eye can stand up to strong flavours, so pairs beautifully with blue cheese or a rich red wine jus. For a classic combination, serve the juicy cut with creamy peppercorn sauce and homemade chips or try it in a simple peppered steak and potato salad.

    How to cook ribeye steak
  6. How to cook sirloin steak

    Sirloin steak has a taste and texture between rump and fillet but it’s quite lean, so you need to cook it carefully and rest well before serving to prevent chewiness. Read on to find out how to cook sirloin steak.

    Cook Tesco Finest Sirloin Steakover a high heat for one minute on each side to melt the fat for juiciness – it will need a further 3 mins each side for medium or 4 mins for well done.

    With its beefy taste, sirloin pairs well with rich, flavourful sauces. Try elevating the cut into a luxurious dinner for two with this sirloin steak recipe that pairs the meat with creamy potato dauphinoise and a peppery rocket salad.

    How to cook sirloin steak
  7. Can you freeze steak?

    Steaks are perfect for pulling out the freezer when you’re wanting to cook something special at short notice. You should freeze the steak as soon as possible after purchase (and before the ‘use by’ date) and use within 3 months. You’ll need to defrost fully before cooking, so make sure to take it out the freezer in plenty of time – we find leaving it overnight in the fridge works well.